From NBC's Joel Seidman
On Monday, I interviewed two veteran Little Rock journalists -- Paul Greenberg, the editorial editor of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and Gwen Moritz, editor of the Arkansas Business Journal -- who have lots to say about the tenure of Huckabee tenure as Arkansas governor.
Greenberg says, "He does have a tendency to take criticism very personally. Or at least he did. You wouldn't know that from the Mike Huckabee that has been on the presidential campaign."
Moritz chimes in: "He gets kind of huffy. Some of the columnists refer to him regularly has 'his huffyness."
Greenberg talks about Huckabee's religious perspective: "The national race may not have come to appreciate the kind of old fashioned moralist Huckabee is," he says. "You saw that come out in the Iowa debate about whether we should allow the students of illegal immigrants who go to school in Arkansas to compete on an equal playing field for college scholarships. I can just hear the old reverend Huckabee of Pine Bluff, Arkansas say, 'We are a better people than to punish the children for the sins of their parents.'"
"I think that Mike Huckabee would be the first to recognize that being a preacher doesn't mean that you are not a sinner," he continued. "He did accept gifts that he really should not have just for the sake for the sake of appearance. and I think he is going to learn a lesson about that too, when it come back to haunt him."
Gwen Moritz goes even further on the ethics complaints: "Most of the ethics complaints against him, most of the ethical questions that came up have to do with the fact that he doesn't like to turn down any gifts. He appreciates things, he wants things, he likes things, but he doesn't think there is anything that anyone offers him that he should have to say no to. He tried to enrich himself or at least make his life more comfortable with using funds that he wasn't really entitled to like, the mansion maintenance fund, at the governor's mansion. But all through his tenure he has I think a problem perceiving how it looks for him to just collect things that are given to him. In one calendar year, he accepted more than $100,000 worth of gifts. You have to understand that is three times, almost three times the average household income in Arkansas. And he didn't think that anyone should question that whether it was right or good or the appearance was right for him to take so much stuff from people for whatever reason."
And on the controversial Wayne Dumond pardoned he granted, Greenberg says, "For a large part, it was a preacher in office who believes in mercy as well as justice and he let mercy dominate."